IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp13539.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Designing Disability Insurance Reforms: Tightening Eligibility Rules or Reducing Benefits?

Author

Listed:
  • Haller, Andreas

    (Norwegian School of Economics)

  • Staubli, Stefan

    (University of Calgary)

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    (University of Zurich)

Abstract

We study the welfare effects of disability insurance (DI) and derive social-optimality conditions for the two main DI policy parameters: (i) DI eligibility rules and (ii) DI benefits. Causal evidence from two DI reforms in Austria generate fiscal multipliers (total over mechanical cost reductions) of 2.0-2.5 for stricter DI eligibility rules and of 1.3-1.4 for lower DI benefits. Stricter DI eligibility rules generate lower income losses (earnings + transfers), particularly at the lower end of the income distribution. Hence, to roll back the Austrian DI program, policy makers should implement tighter DI eligibility rules rather than lower DI benefits. An application of our framework to the DI system of the U.S. suggests that DI eligibility rules are too strict and DI benefits are too low.

Suggested Citation

  • Haller, Andreas & Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2020. "Designing Disability Insurance Reforms: Tightening Eligibility Rules or Reducing Benefits?," IZA Discussion Papers 13539, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13539
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp13539.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Philip de Jong & Maarten Lindeboom & Bas van der Klaauw, 2011. "Screening Disability Insurance Applications," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 106-129, February.
    2. Andreas R. Kostøl & Andreas S. Myhre, 2021. "Labor Supply Responses to Learning the Tax and Benefit Schedule," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(11), pages 3733-3766, November.
    3. Mullen, Kathleen J. & Staubli, Stefan, 2016. "Disability benefit generosity and labor force withdrawal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 49-63.
    4. Chen, Susan & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "The work disincentive effects of the disability insurance program in the 1990s," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 757-784, February.
    5. Alexander Gelber & Timothy J. Moore & Alexander Strand, 2017. "The Effect of Disability Insurance Payments on Beneficiaries' Earnings," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 229-261, August.
    6. Bound, John & Stinebrickner, Todd & Waidmann, Timothy, 2010. "Health, economic resources and the work decisions of older men," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 106-129, May.
    7. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528, Elsevier.
    8. David S. Lee & Pauline Leung & Christopher J. O’Leary & Zhuan Pei & Simon Quach, 2021. "Are Sufficient Statistics Necessary? Nonparametric Measurement of Deadweight Loss from Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(S2), pages 455-506.
    9. Manasi Deshpande & Yue Li, 2019. "Who Is Screened Out? Application Costs and the Targeting of Disability Programs," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 213-248, November.
    10. Kory Kroft & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2016. "Should Unemployment Insurance Vary with the Unemployment Rate? Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 83(3), pages 1092-1124.
    11. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise in the Disability Rolls and the Decline in Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 118(1), pages 157-206.
    12. Moore, Timothy J., 2015. "The employment effects of terminating disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 30-43.
    13. Giulia Giupponi, 2019. "When income effects are large: labor supply responses and the value of welfare transfers," CEP Discussion Papers dp1651, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    14. Parsons, Donald O, 1991. "Self-Screening in Targeted Public Transfer Programs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 859-876, August.
    15. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3417-3528 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Eric French & Jae Song, 2014. "The Effect of Disability Insurance Receipt on Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 291-337, May.
    17. Abadie, Alberto, 2003. "Semiparametric instrumental variable estimation of treatment response models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 231-263, April.
    18. Olivier Bargain & Kristian Orsini & Andreas Peichl, 2014. "Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the United States: New Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 723-838.
    19. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen J. Mullen & Alexander Strand, 2013. "Does Disability Insurance Receipt Discourage Work? Using Examiner Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects of SSDI Receipt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1797-1829, August.
    20. Mathilde Godard & Pierre Koning & Maarten Lindeboom, 2020. "Application and Award Responses to Stricter Screening in Disability Insurance," Working Papers halshs-02533693, HAL.
    21. Raj Chetty & Amy Finkelstein, 2012. "Social Insurance: Connecting Theory to Data," NBER Working Papers 18433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Mathilde Godard, 2017. "Targeting disability insurance applications with screening," Post-Print halshs-01660800, HAL.
    23. Philippe Ruh & Stefan Staubli, 2019. "Financial Incentives and Earnings of Disability Insurance Recipients: Evidence from a Notch Design," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 269-300, May.
    24. Simon Jäger & Benjamin Schoefer & Josef Zweimüller, 2023. "Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: A Test of the Efficiency of Separations," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 90(3), pages 1265-1303.
    25. Andreas Ravndal Kostol & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "How Financial Incentives Induce Disability Insurance Recipients to Return to Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 624-655, February.
    26. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & John Rust, 2004. "How Large are the Classification Errors in the Social Security Disability Award Process?," NBER Working Papers 10219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Jonas Kolsrud & Camille Landais & Peter Nilsson & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2018. "The Optimal Timing of Unemployment Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(4-5), pages 985-1033, April.
    28. Olivier Bargain & Kristian Orsini & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US: New Results," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 525, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    29. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2007. "Reservation Wages and Unemployment Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 122(3), pages 1145-1185.
    30. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1162-1183, December.
    31. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2006. "The Growth in the Social Security Disability Rolls: A Fiscal Crisis Unfolding," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 71-96, Summer.
    32. Chetty, Raj, 2006. "A general formula for the optimal level of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1879-1901, November.
    33. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over 20 Years," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 127(2), pages 701-752.
    34. Till von Wachter & Jae Song & Joyce Manchester, 2011. "Trends in Employment and Earnings of Allowed and Rejected Applicants to the Social Security Disability Insurance Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3308-3329, December.
    35. Steffan Ball & Hamish Low, 2014. "Do Self-insurance and Disability Insurance Prevent Consumption Loss on Disability?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(323), pages 468-490, July.
    36. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2018. "A Macroeconomic Approach to Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Applications," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 182-216, May.
    37. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Torben Sørensen & Christopher Taber, 2010. "Estimating the Effect of Student Aid on College Enrollment: Evidence from a Government Grant Policy Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Income Taxation, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 185-215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
    39. David Autor & Andreas Kostøl & Magne Mogstad & Bradley Setzler, 2019. "Disability Benefits, Consumption Insurance, and Household Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(7), pages 2613-2654, July.
    40. Matteo Picchio & Sigrid Suetens & Jan C. van Ours, 2018. "Labour Supply Effects of Winning a Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(611), pages 1700-1729, June.
    41. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2018. "A Macroeconomic Approach to Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Theory," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 152-181, May.
    42. Bound, John, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 482-503, June.
    43. Johannes F. Schmieder† & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2011. "The Effects Of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over The Business Cycle: Evidence From Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over Twenty Years," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-063, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    44. Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Does raising the early retirement age increase employment of older workers?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 17-32.
    45. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
    46. Campolieti, Michele & Riddell, Chris, 2012. "Disability policy and the labor market: Evidence from a natural experiment in Canada, 1998–2006," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 306-316.
    47. Karlström, Anders & Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2008. "The employment effect of stricter rules for eligibility for DI: Evidence from a natural experiment in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2071-2082, October.
    48. Staubli, Stefan, 2011. "The impact of stricter criteria for disability insurance on labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1223-1235, October.
    49. Lex Borghans & Anne C. Gielen & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2014. "Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 34-70, November.
    50. Gruber, Jonathan & Kubik, Jeffrey D., 1997. "Disability insurance rejection rates and the labor supply of older workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-23, April.
    51. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
    52. Guido W. Imbens & Donald B. Rubin, 1997. "Estimating Outcome Distributions for Compliers in Instrumental Variables Models," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 64(4), pages 555-574.
    53. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2015. "Disability Insurance and the Dynamics of the Incentive Insurance Trade-Off," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 2986-3029, October.
    54. Michele Campolieti, 2004. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 863-890, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Seitz, Sebastian, 2023. "Estimating the Moral Hazard Cost of Private Disability Insurance and its Welfare Consequences," VfS Annual Conference 2023 (Regensburg): Growth and the "sociale Frage" 277648, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Siegloch, Sebastian & Seibold, Arthur & Seitz, Sebastian, 2022. "Privatizing Disability Insurance," CEPR Discussion Papers 17568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Alexander Ahammer & Analisa Packham, 2022. "Disability Insurance Screening and Worker Outcomes," Upjohn Working Papers 22-375, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    4. Koning Pierre & Vethaak Heike, 2021. "Decomposing Employment Trends of Disabled Workers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(4), pages 1217-1255, October.
    5. De Brouwer, Octave & Leduc, Elisabeth & Tojerow, Ilan, 2023. "The consequences of job search monitoring for the long-term unemployed: Disability instead of employment?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 224(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chiara Dal Bianco, 2019. "Labour Supply and Welfare Effects of Disability Insurance: A Survey," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 5(1), pages 161-189, March.
    2. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2020. "Disability Insurance: Theoretical Trade‐Offs and Empirical Evidence," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(1), pages 129-164, March.
    3. Alexander Gelber & Timothy J. Moore & Alexander Strand, 2017. "The Effect of Disability Insurance Payments on Beneficiaries' Earnings," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 229-261, August.
    4. Liebert, Helge, 2019. "Does external medical review reduce disability insurance inflow?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 108-128.
    5. Chiara Dal Bianco, 2023. "Disability Insurance and the Effects of Return-to-work Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 49, pages 351-373, July.
    6. Deuchert, Eva & Eugster, Beatrix, 2019. "Income and substitution effects of a disability insurance reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 1-14.
    7. Mathilde Godard & Pierre Koning & Maarten Lindeboom, 2020. "Application and Award Responses to Stricter Screening in Disability Insurance," Working Papers 2012, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    8. Lawson, Nicholas, 2015. "Social program substitution and optimal policy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 13-27.
    9. Mathilde Godard & Maarten Lindeboom & Pierre Koning, 2018. "Targeting disability insurance applications with screening," Post-Print halshs-01960488, HAL.
    10. Siegloch, Sebastian & Seibold, Arthur & Seitz, Sebastian, 2022. "Privatizing Disability Insurance," CEPR Discussion Papers 17568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Koning, Pierre & Muller, Paul & Prudon, Roger, 2022. "Do disability benefits hinder work resumption after recovery?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    12. Garcia-Mandicó, Sílvia & García-Gómez, Pilar & Gielen, Anne C. & O’Donnell, Owen, 2020. "Earnings responses to disability insurance stringency," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    13. Deuchert, E. & Eugster, B., 2016. "Crawling Up the Cash Cliff? Behavioral Responses to a Disability Insurance Reform," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/21, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    14. Moore, Timothy J., 2015. "The employment effects of terminating disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 30-43.
    15. Tobias Müller & Stefan Boes, 2020. "Disability insurance benefits and labor supply decisions: evidence from a discontinuity in benefit awards," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(5), pages 2513-2544, May.
    16. Tunga Kantarcı & Jan‐Maarten van Sonsbeek & Yi Zhang, 2023. "The heterogeneous impact of stricter criteria for disability insurance," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(9), pages 1898-1920, September.
    17. Silvia Garcia Mandico & Pilar (P.) Garcia-Gomez & Anne (A.C.) Gielen & Owen (O.A.) O'Donnell, 2018. "Earnings responses to disability benefit cuts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-023/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    18. Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut, 2020. "Immigrant Responses to Social Insurance Generosity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    19. Gordon B. Dahl & Andreas Ravndal Kostøl & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "Family Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 129(4), pages 1711-1752.
    20. Hjellset Alne, Ragnar, 2018. "Economic incentives, disability insurance and labor supply," Working Papers in Economics 2/18, University of Bergen, Department of Economics, revised 14 Jun 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    disability insurance; screening; benefits; policy reform;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13539. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.